What we learnt in November

Here is what we’ve known since 27th November 2007, but couldn’t tell you until today:

Yep. That's a positive.

Right. Well, I think that’s pretty self-explanatory…

 

It’s a father’s job, right? Wrong.

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Shameless plug 2: Long overdue pics on my flickr.

There are certain things that only a dad can do for his son. Buying him his first razor, teaching him how to shave, driving him to the nearest hospital with a blood bank and so on.

Of course, little Alex is some way off those days. Although that doesn’t stop him experimenting with my shaving foam if it’s not strategically placed out of his reach. He is growing up quickly though and indeed, he starts playschool on Thursday. It was this momentous occasion that tempted me into an extravagant, yet important purchase this lunchtime: A Winnie the Pooh backpack. Too cute.

The boy loves Winnie and since Disney took over the rights to his image (the bear, not my son) and americanized it, there’s no shortage of Pooh-related merchandise out there for parents to waste money on. Yes, it’s horribly commercial, but worth every penny when you see the look on his face (my son, not the bear). And I do draw the line somewhere safely on the sensible side of large purple dinosaurs.

The backpack is great. I brought it home this evening, beautifully wrapped in a plastic carrier bag and presented it to Alex in the living room. He tore it open impatiently, desperate to get a better view of the smiling ursine visage within. 
Winnie may have been grinning inanely, Alex may have been giggling gleefully, but his mum’s face was a picture. A watercolour of rage. Rage, disappointment and a touch more rage. And then a little more disappointment on a sideplate. Would you like fries with that?
Hell hath no fury like a woman mother scorned.
Somewhere just next to my left ear, a little voice whispered, “Oops. You just broke another one of those unwritten parenting laws, didn’t you?” I glanced down to see who it was doing the whispering, just in time to see a fluffy little bunny wabbit blasted from my shoulder by my wife’s laser eyes. I swear I heard it let out a fluffy little bunny wabbit scream.

It has left an unsightly burn mark on my t-shirt.

Alex likes the backpack, although it irritates him that he can’t see Winnie and friends when he has it on. Also, by the time it’s got everything he needs for playschool in there, he won’t be able to lift it either. But these are mere details.

The fluffy little bunny wabbit was correct. If you’re a dad, you must stick to the birds and bees, football and shaving. Son’s first backpack falls strictly under the heading of maternal duties.
Fathers across the world, you have been warned.

The transformation is complete

If, for some strange reason, I didn’t think that I was really a dad yet – and by this I mean in the full-on emotional sense, rather than the biological sense (something I accepted a LONG time ago) – then now, I do.
That’s the sort of realisation that a new shopping complex can bring to youThe new development in question is on the Breakwater Boulevard at the Waterfront. It consists of 3 units, the middle one of which is a bank. Don’t let that bother you. The bank plays no further part in this tale. Forget the bank. Don’t get Inspired, Motivated or Involved.
The other two units house a toy shop (grandly named “Toy Kingdom”) and a car dealership, respectively.
But it’s not just any car dealership – it’s the Cape Town Aston Martin dealership.
Big, fast, flashy sports cars.

And that’s where the problem arose. I was far more excited about the prospect of a new toy shop than I was about the sports cars. The idea of buying cool gifts for the little one was far more appealing than looking at some sleek, shiny DB9, Vanquish or Vantage as I pass by each day. It would seem that my Playboy days are well and truly at an end.
And, by even the most conservative estimates, I have at least another 15 years before I hit the midlife crisis zone and need to risk my toupee by purchasing a flashy, open-top sports car.
Truth be told, I’ve never really been into flashy, open-top sports cars anyway. What is it that they say?

The size of your engine is inversely proportional to the size of your you-know-what*

I guess that explains it then, because I have a 1.4 injection. It’s capable, it’s reliable and it gets the job done.
(My engine, however, is nothing to write home about.)

In other news, I’m sure many of you will be wondering why I haven’t yet written about the Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge incidents which are currently dominating the South African news at the moment. There are two very good reasons that I haven’t written about them:

  1. Because this isn’t a blog about politics, so political posts turn readers away in their droves
    and, more importantly:
  2. Because their names are so long, I actually can’t afford the bandwidth.

Just a quick personal note:
I have been reliably informed that certain people – well, certain person, anyway – in the UK has been reading this site and I’d like to just make it clear to her that you really don’t need a gun. A big water pistol, maybe – they’re always good for a laugh. But not a gun. You know who you are.

Sorry about the rather conservative language, but I can’t risk offending either of my regular readers.

Taking Shorty to the WBHS

One of the more mundane tasks I do from time to time in my line of work is to travel to another lab nearby and collect specimens for our experiments. This basically involves tipping infected sputum from 240 tubes into… er… 240 more tubes.

I’m sure Lizzy M and the other tutors on my Masters course would be proud to see my agile scientific mind being utilised so thoroughly. It’s not exactly rocket science. That would involve boosters, liquified gases and exciting roaring noises, none of which I have the luxury of enjoying.


I do, however, get to listen to Heart 104.9 – which claims to be “The Soul of Cape Town” – while I’m there, blasting out the latest sounds via a tinny clock radio in the corner. It’s not my kind of music. In fact, most of it seems to be about how some bloke is going to take “Shorty” “to the VIP” and what “Shorty” is going to do for him in return. Presumably, the “Shorty” in question, isn’t Danny DeVito. The thought of him rewarding Notorious LARD for entry into the back room of some LA nightclub is just not appealing. Well, not to me anyway.
My own little Shorty, all 75cm and 11.4kg of him (that’s slightly taller, but much lighter than Danny DeVito) continues to be frustrated by the chilly winter weather. He knows that there’s mud to be eaten on Wynberg Boys High School field and he knows that he’s the toddler for the job. We had a great time chasing geese and ibissess.. ibiss’s.. ibii.. an ibis (x2) up there last week.

. .Rugger?  Boy  Guilty
More pics here.

He’s not the only one that’s fed up with winter now.
In between the dry and sunny (but chilly) days came yesterday. Grey, moody, windy and a bit wet.
A bit like Michael Douglas, but without the Welsh tart on its arm.
Not really that bad, but enough for the organisers to postpone our football match in case we got a bit cold and damp. Pathetic. If we called off games for weather like that in the UK, we’d never kick a damn ball.

Next week’s game is an early kick off, which will allow the team to head off to Newlands immediately after the final whistle to see some “real” football – Pele, Eto’o, Gullit, Radebe and a myriad of other international stars in the 90 minutes for Mandela exhibition match.
Let’s hope they don’t cancel everything there because of a bit of drizzle on the breeze…

Postcard from Cape Town

Hello there. How’s the conference going?

I must say that at first sight, five days in a 5-star hotel overlooking the Victoria Falls in Zambia didn’t seem to be the worse scenario in the world, but I’m sure you’re all working damn hard out there between the drinking sessions, although the thunderous noise of the spectacular 108m high, 1.7km long wall of falling water must be a little off-putting. As you know, I’ve never been, but I’m guessing it’s something like our back garden a couple of weeks ago. I still haven’t found our goat, by the way.
I can’t believe your phone isn’t working – curse those yellow freaks at MTN. Curse them.

Not much news from here. Of course, we miss you. Alex regularly breaks off from tearing the pages of his nursery rhyme book to go and investigate the Case of the Missing Mum by peering round the nearest corner to see where you’re hiding.
I do try to explain, but by that time he’s moved onto hugging his teddy or playing with the contents of your underwear drawer. How come he’s allowed to do that, but I’m not?

Anyway, we’re getting on just fine, despite his “dirty protest” in the bath on Wednesday evening. It wasn’t as bad as the last time he did it – I wasn’t actually in the bath with him this time. *shudder*
I’ve been using that old South African Klippies-in-the-bedtime-bottle trick your mum said she used to use on you. I can’t say for sure if he’s been sleeping through but generally I have been as I’ve been finishing the Klipdrift off once he’s passed out. I can’t allow him to drink alone, now can I?
Interestingly, he seems to handle the blinding headaches of the following morning better than I do.
I’m quite envious. </font

I hardly like to mention it, but tonight is the big England v Brazil friendly at Wembley. You must be gutted. I know you would have loved to have watched it with me, so I’ll look up when it’s repeated when you come back and we can enjoy it together then. Maybe it’ll be repeated twice if you’re lucky.
But that’s assuming I can get out of the hospital past the picket lines this evening. I tried to appear all cool by joining in their songs and toyi-toying on the way through the gate this morning, but I just ended up singing “Shongololo” instead of “Shosholoza” and proving that white men really can’t jump. I like to think they appreciated my efforts though and that they were laughing with me. Possibly anyway.

Tomorrow looks like being Saturday and so I’ll plonk the boy into his car seat and we’ll hit the beach and eat some sand together (washed down with some more Klippies). He’s expressed a wish to take up ornithology ever since he saw that “Puffin with Muffins” page in his rhyming book, so I thought that Sandy Bay would be the obvious choice, where you can see plenty of Capetonian birds in their… erm… natural plumage. We’ll probably just sit back and admire them preening or something and knock back a couple more Klippies. We’re not addicted though. Oh no.

OK – I must get to the bottle store before it closes.
We’ll see you at the airport on Sunday.
If I’m too drunk, Alex has said that he’ll drive. If he’s too drunk as well, I guess you’ll have to get a taxi.
Til then dearest,

Me.x